All it takes is one. David Accam entered the game for Nashville in the 82nd minute, and managed one shot. Coming at the end of an impressive run on the ball, that shot (and perhaps a slight deflection) was all Nashville needed.
Past the keeper, into the net. One goal, three points.
Accam’s 86th-minute shot held up as the winner after Nashville scrambled to keep Dallas from an equalizer – including a key sliding block from centerback Walker Zimmerman (who was recently made a long-term centerpiece of the team’s roster). After having made just one save so far this entire season, keeper Joe Willis made five stops. Called into serious action for the first time this season, he rose to the challenge, as well.
The game’s result was made all the more impressive by the fact that it was helmed by a substitute coach – Steve Guppy stepped in for headman Gary Smith, who did not travel with the team out of an abundance of caution after a false-positive test for the novel coronavirus – and he granted MLS debuts to a trio of Nashville SC players. Honduran veteran Brayan Beckeles was in the starting lineup, and a player with plenty of Liga MX experience should be expected to handle Major League Soccer competition. Rookie Alistair Johnston and former USL player for NSC Matt LaGrassa were second-half subs, and the faith that Guppy put in them was rewarded with solid play.
Nashville won’t have much time to bask in the victory, though. The Boys in Gold will head back to Music City on their charter flight this evening, and return to Dallas Sunday afternoon for a second matchup against FC Dallas. There will certainly be some training-ground tweaks after a defensive performance that left Willis more exposed than he’d been in either of the team’s previous games, and an offensive output that could still use more consistency. On this night, that’s the furthest thing from the team’s collective mind.
After a moderately shocking result from an FCD perspective – the Toros earned four points in their first two MLS games before the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on the sports world, and against Philadelphia and Montreal teams that entered the season with higher external expectations than Nashville – there’s no doubt that coach Luchi Gonzalez will be hungry for a spot of revenge.
- 28′ NSH Yellow card – 55 Brayan Beckeles (foul)
- 36′ NSH Yellow card – 2 Dan Lovitz (foul)
- 45’+4 Half time
- 57′ NSH Yellow card – 4 Dave Romney (foul)
- 59′ DAL Substitutions
- ON 19 Paxton Pomykal, OFF 7 Jesus Ferreira
- ON 16 Ricardo Pepi, OFF 29 Franco Jara
- 62′ DAL Yellow card – 19 Paxton Pomykal (foul)
- 64′ NSH Yellow card – 8 Randall Leal (foul)
- 67′ NSH Substitutions
- ON 12 Alistair Johnston, OFF 55 Brayan Beckeles
- ON 7 Abu Danladi, OFF 14 Daniel Ríos
- 74′ DAL Substitutions
- ON Tanner Tessman, OFF 5 Thiago Santos
- ON Zdenek Ondrášek – OFF 3 Reto Ziegler
- 75′ NSH Substitution – ON 9 Dominique Badji, OFF 21 Derrick Jones
- 82′ NSH Substitutions
- ON 11 David Accam, OFF 8 Randall Leal
- ON 22 Matt LaGrassa, OFF 10 Hany Mukhtar
- 86′ NSH GOAL – 11 DAvid Accam (right foot), assisted by 6 Dax McCarty
- 87′ DAL Substitution – ON 9 Fafa Picault, OFF 21 Michael Barrios
- 90’+5 Full time
David Accam photo from file. Tim Sullivan/For Club and Country